Faster, please, CSP

Cursing at a police officer is not cause for being shot, but apparently a former Colorado State Patrol officer working in this area didn’t know or didn’t care about that.

According to a letter local attorney Gregory Hoskin sent to the CSP following a traffic stop in Unaweep Canyon in May, former Trooper Dale Smith hinted at exactly that possibility.

After Smith stopped Hoskin for speeding, an argument ensued in which Hoskin admitted using a profanity. Smith then asked, “Are you cussing me?” and put his hand on his gun, Hoskin said Smith’s actions were akin to “a bully with a badge and a gun on a motorcycle.”

It is one more bit of evidence that a number of troopers assigned to the Fruita State Patrol troop are either insufficiently trained, inadequately supervised or both.

Regular readers know that two former troopers were involved in the shooting death of an unarmed man when, with questionable authority, they tried to force their way into his house following a traffic stop. Both were fired last month.

Another former officer left after he allegedly combined information from several different reports to make DUI cases.

We’re glad CSP officials fired those officers and are examining the management of the Fruita troop. But the incident with Hoskin suggests the problem is broader than we thought. The internal investigation must be a top priority and it needs to go faster to ensure citizens’ safety isn’t further jeopardized.


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